Week 3 of Gap Year at Chikumbuso was intense and rewarding.
Week 3: Father Heart and Orphan Heart
Father Heart of God includes a study of all the attributes of God as Father. He is patient, forgiving, merciful, present, loving, tender, strong, protector, refuge, provider, and so much more! We all had humans for fathers, so we all experience a father wound.
Students engaged in dramas to illustrate six types of earthly Fathers:
1. Absent: not physically present, due to death, divorce, disinterest, desertion
2. Apathetic: emotionally disconnected. Don’t rejoice with children, affirm, or walk beside them.
3. Addicted: depend on mood-altering substance or behavior. Can be angry, dissatisfied.
4. Achievement-Driven: relationship and love is earned, sets unrealistic standards for children.
5. Authoritarian: abuse their authority, verbally and/or physically harsh.
6. Abdicating: refuse to be directly involved in children’s lives in frequent, meaningful ways. Leave discipline, nurture, provision to mother.
Orphan Heart Characteristics reveal what we all experience apart from God:
1. Loneliness: feels all alone, bound by fear of being abandoned again, hinders full love relationships
2. Hopelessness: no sense of future hope, (“What can I have NOW? “), feels worthless and ashamed
3. Sadness: not a light heart, deep buried pain at loss with overwhelming emptiness, tries to avoid pain
4. Hypersensitivity: very sensitive to words and actions, triggers sharp reactions
5. Fear: of man, rejection, disapproval, separation
6. Poverty: lives in constant state of scarcity even in plenty, leads to greed, addictions, sexual relationships to satisfy the empty soul
7. Selective memory: defense mechanism, missing gap might be something big
8. Anger: deep-seated anger at being abandoned, angry for things they do not have control over
9. Manipulation: controls others to try to get as much as possible
10. Hiding: physically or emotionally, mistrust, superficiality, love is attached to things
11. Independent Spirit: rebellion, “I will do what seems right in my eyes”
We are all spiritual orphans in need of adoption. This teaching reveals our hearts’ great need for healing and freedom that is found in being a child of God.
Day with Daddy: This week includes an assignment called Day with Daddy, where we take time to compare our experience with our earthly father with the perfect love of our heavenly father. There is time to forgive our fathers, write them letters acknowledging ways they did represent God’s love to us, and fully accept God’s Fatherly love for us.
This is a life-changing assignment we invite you to experience for yourself!
At the end of the week, we needed some light-hearted fun! I used sponges to illustrate our hearts: whatever we soak in will penetrate us! If we soak in God’s Word (Blue Water) or Media, Culture (Red Water), when life is hard and we are squeezed, what is in our hearts comes out. This shows that we need more time with God, his word, and community than with any other influence. Let the games begin!